We Made History: Citizens of 35 Countries Overestimate their Nation’s Role in World History

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Description: Inspired by the work of Ross and Sicoly (1979) and others (e.g., Epley and Caruso, 2004; Schroeder, Caruso, and Epley, 2016 Tanaka, 1993) showing egocentric tendencies of individuals to overestimate their remembered contributions to small group activities, our research investigates whether similar tendencies occur at a national level, whereby individuals tend to overestimate the remembered contributions of their country to shaping the course of world history. Specifically, we asked over 6,000 university students from 35 countries “What contribution do you think the country you are living in has made to world history? The students provided estimates ranging from 0-100%, where 0% indicated that the country made no contribution to world history and 100% indicated that all contributions came from the country. This question was included towards the end of a survey about world history and identity that was administered in most of the 35 countries between 2007 and 2008, with several countries added between 2010 and 2013 (Liu et al., 2012; Hanke et al., 2015). The primary project was directed by James Liu, Dario Paez, and Alberto Rosa, and several papers have already been published from this large dataset on other aspects of the data. A paper on the current study is in press (Zaromb et al., 2018; see https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211368118300202).

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